Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell announced Tuesday morning that a deal had been struck between state and local officials and the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey franchise. The Penguins organization will formally announce the deal tonight, prior to the Penguins game against the Buffalo Sabres at the Mellon Arena. The deal will ensure that the Penguins will remain in the city with a 30 year lease on a new arena to be built in downtown Pittsburgh. The framework of the deal was constructed in an emergency meeting last Thursday in Philadelphia, when both government and franchise officials indicated that progress had been made, with the details laid out over the weekend. With the new deal, the Penguins organization would be expected to pay $3.8 million per year, as well as $7.5 million per year from both Don Barden, owner of Majestic Star Casino, and the state economic development fund. The Penguins organization has also been given the option of building a parking garage on property of the Pittsburgh Sports Authority between Centre and Fifth avenues, by contributing $500,000 per year.
The new arena is expected to cost approximately $290 million, and should be completed and ready to host hockey games by 2009. The Penguins will sign a temporary lease to keep the team at Mellon Arena until the new building is finished.